Is the Christian Dual Natured? (part 2)
Born Again? What does this mean? I remember when reading this the first time, it seemed like Nicodemus must have thought that this was a real oxymoron. How can I enter a second time into my mother’s womb? Jesus explained to him that flesh gives birth to flesh and Spirit gives birth to spirit. What does that mean? If you are a born-again believer, think about yourself for a minute. Before you were regenerated, did you not have a mind? Yes. You were a person. You were not “just flesh” but you had a mind and a soul. Did this flesh die when you became a Christian? No. Just poke your finger with a needle and you can see that your flesh is very much alive. Why would we think that the mind died … or the soul?
I want to think about the incredible truth as to what has happened to a person who is born again. It is truly amazing what the Bible says about this.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:4)
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph 4:24)
The new man, the new creation in Christ, is actually a partaker of the divine nature. Wow!
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)
This new person cannot sin. This person is holy, untainted by sin. Does this represent everything about you? Does this represent our experience? Not as a whole. We know that we still are not all that God intended us to be … as a whole. This is because of the “old nature”. You know – that other person that we were before we were saved. He is still around. We are attached to him until death. (The word death actually implies separation.) At that time, he will be burned up. Hallelujah!
This is the only explanation that is currently tenable for me of the born again Christian. We are not in sinless perfection. The Bible says that the new creation is in sinless perfection. How can both be true unless there are two natures? If we want to say that the old person is truly gone, then how is it that we can still access that person’s memories? How is it that we can still remember that person’s attitudes? How is it that we can still feel that person’s desires, hurts, longings? He is not dead experientially. However, (and this is the joyous truth) he is as good as dead because of the cross.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
This language is telling of the plan and program of God. If we set our minds and hearts on the truth in the above passage, we will minimize the old man. It will eventually die. The chain of events has been set in motion and they will be completed. Nothing you or I do can separate us from the Divine nature that is now within us. As a whole, experientially, we haven’t arrived yet! However, in the mind of God, it is complete and Christ has won the victory.
… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philipians 1:6)
to be continued … What to do with the “old man” and … challenges to this doctrine.